Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - 53

"We'd love to work
in the Circelli Family NICU
at Northside Hospital
Gwinnett. We want to be
a part of the team
that has given us
so much."

Dr. Leigh was thrilled when he found
out the Bentons had hopes of working in
the NICU. "It enriches the environment
because they are providing care with the
additional perspective of having been
a patient."
He says it also validates the work his
team does each day and showcases the
impact they have on patients. "They're
dedicating themselves to giving back
to patients whose lives are starting the
same way theirs did."

Celebrating Life

Megan, left, and
Natalie Benton were
born at Northside
Hospital Gwinnett
four months early.

again. Once 23 weeks came around ..."
Megan interrupts her, "We said, 'Hey,
we're here!'"

Giving Back to the NICU

The sisters share a close bond,
cemented by the four months they
spent together in the Circelli Family
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
(NICU) at the Northside Gwinnett
Women's Pavilion.
"We're very close," begins Megan.
"Yeah, we're like best friends," Natalie
finishes her sister's sentence as they both
nod in agreement. Natalie continues,
"Siblings are always close, but they say
twins are even closer."
"Well, we do fight sometimes,"
Megan quickly reminds her, and they
both laugh.

The twins spend a great deal of time
together. Both play in the band at their
church: Natalie on drums and Megan
on guitar. They also recently graduated
from the same program at Gwinnett
Technical College.
"We decided to study sterile
processing in hopes that we could help
others going through the same thing we
did," Natalie says. Megan adds, "We'd
love to work in the Circelli Family NICU
at Northside Hospital Gwinnett. We
want to be a part of the team that has
given us so much."
Natalie and Megan wouldn't be the
first former NICU patients to work
there. "Some of them come back to
provide care for babies in the NICU,"
says Leslie Leigh, MD, a neonatologist at
Northside Hospital Gwinnett.

Dr. Leigh knows the twins well and
enjoys having the opportunity to catch
up with them at the annual NICU
reunion. The reunion, which began
in 1988, is a way for former NICU
patients-known as graduates-to come
together and celebrate life.
"The premature baby reunion
is an opportunity to build upon
a relationship that was initially
stressful but optimistic." Dr. Leigh
continues, "This celebration reaffi rms
that optimism. Parents have the
opportunity to thank their team of
physicians and nurses, and we have
the opportunity to see these growing
children thrive and prosper."
Megan and Natalie also look forward
to the reunion each year. "It's just
incredible to see all these kids who
were once treated in the NICU-and
survived-come together in one place,"
Megan says. "Northside Gwinnett's
NICU is just so amazing. These doctors
are saving lives each and every day."
Natalie adds, "It also gives us an
opportunity to say thank you. Dr. Leigh
did absolutely everything in his power
to help us survive. He reassured our
parents that we were going to make it,
and I know that if it weren't for him
and the entire NICU staff at Northside
Gwinnett, we wouldn't be here today.
They saved our lives." ■
WINTE R 2019

53



Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - 2
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover3
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